there, his eyes fixed on the storm, trying to the
end to pierce the darkness, he would die stand-
ing. He would never reach R,
He stood stock still, by the urn, with the
geranium flowing over it. How many men in
a thousand million, he asked himself, reach Z
after all? Surely the leader of a forlorn hope may
ask himself that, and answer, without treachery
to the expedition behind him, " One perhaps ".
One in a generation. Is he to be blamed then if
he is not that one? provided he has toiled honestly,
given to the best of his power, till he has no
more left to give? And his fame lasts how long?
It is permissible even for a dying hero to think
before he dies how men will speak of him here-
after. His fame lasts perhaps two thousand
years. And what are two thousand years? (asked
Mr. Ramsay ironically, staring at the hedge).
What, indeed, if you look from a mountain-top
down the long wastes of the ages? The very
stone one kicks with one's boot will outlast
Shakespeare. His own little light would shine,"
not very brightly, for a year or two, and would
then be merged in some bigger light, and that
in a bigger still. (He looked into the darkness,
into the intricacy of the twigs.) Who then could
blame the leader of that forlorn party which after
all has climbed high enough to see the waste of